The latest edition of the Islamic State’s newsletter, Al-Naba 108, released on 1 December 2017, has a profile on page 7 of a fighter named Abu Sulayman al-Libi, a Libyan jihadist who came to Syria soon after the caliphate declaration in June 2014 and became the senior religious official in Homs. Abu Sulayman was killed in the fighting between IS and the pro-Asad coalition in the deserts of eastern Homs Province, near the T3 oil pumping station. This probably means Abu Sulayman was killed in the last days of September or the first few days of October during the IS counter-attack to the regime coalition’s push into Deir Ezzor. A rough translation of the Naba obituary is published below.
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He advocated for God by word, and fought His enemies by doing: Abu Sulayman al-Libi
He was keen to seek knowledge and learn, and he was most keen to know of the caliphate … This quest propelled him into jihad for the sake of God. He was one of the first to fight after the spark of jihad came to Libya, and he was wounded—may God accept him—in one of the battles against the apostates and American crusaders.
Once God’s mujahideen slaves had declared the caliphate, he hastened to announce his bay’a [oath of allegiance] to the caliph of the Muslims, and urged his brothers to catch up. He especially found the declaration at that time to be a golden opportunity to collect the umma [Muslim community] after its dispersal [with the collapse of the Ottoman caliphate] … He rejoiced more fully and began a campaign of activism to advertise his allegiance and convince his brothers to join him.
Journey to Bilad al-Sham (The Land of Syria)
His brethren asked him to make hijra [immigrate] to Bilad al-Sham and he was encouraged by them to communicate with the emirs, to tell them about the situation of their brothers in Libya and to inform them of their manhaj [methodology, path, or approach] and aqeeda [creed, doctrine, or faith]. Abu Sulayman went to Bilad al-Sham, met his emirs, and raised the order of his brothers in Libya. They welcomed him and his brothers, the validity of their manhaj, and the strength of their resolve. In turn, he transferred what he saw in Iraq and Syria to his brothers in Libya, encouraging and inciting them to pledge allegiance to the caliph.
Shortly after his arrival in Syria, he was appointed as the General Shar’i [religious legal authority] in Homs and the emir of the shari’a centers. The brothers loved him very much because they saw his good morals and good management. …
The Shaykh—may God have mercy on him—continued to seek knowledge and jihad for the sake of Allah, even after he was entrusted with many tasks, such as serving his brothers. He ran their affairs during the day and sought knowledge at night. He incited the brothers to combat, as if in the tongue of Ibn Hazm [on the need to learn, to spread knowledge, and to die for the Shahada or Islam] …
He did not neglect—God have mercy on him—to do what he learned from the creation of our Prophet—peace be upon him—but he was merciful to the mujahideen brothers, and they were influenced them even in their own affairs. They not only heard from him pretty speeches and saw him deal in good manners … he taught by his deeds and ethics and his treatment of the brothers.
His Death—May God Accept Him
His death had a great impact on the souls of his indomitable brethren. His death was a sign of his sincerity—so we think, and God knows best—a demonstration of the truth of God Almighty. It is like the death of that noble companion, who said, after he received his share of ghanima [spoils]: “This is what I have promised you, O Messenger of God. I pledged to follow you to have an arrow strike me here [pointing to his throat] and to exit here [pointing at the back of his neck], so that I can be killed in the cause of God.” When the war was over and the companions had lost many men, the companions saw that the arrow had penetrated his neck as he had indicated.
And here with our brother, Abu Sulayman al-Libi, the same thing happened. One of his brothers who was with us in another battle—God have mercy on him—told us what happened. He said: “Our brother, Abu Sulayman, rode with us in a BMP vehicle to attack a checkpoint of the Nusayri army at the T3 station in the vicinity of Palmyra in Wilayat Homs. He was wounded by a gunshot and began to bleed blood, falling unconscious. When he woke up, the brothers said to him: ‘Come back, Shaykh, you cannot continue fighting with us. You have been hit.’ He said: ‘No. God does not retreat.’ When his brothers requested again that he turn back, he insisted to them: ‘I will not retreat. I have made a covenant with God that a bullet will enter here and will come out here,’ pointing to his forehead and the back of his head. Only minutes later, when he raised his head, a bullet hit him in the forehead, in the place where he had pointed.” And he was elevated—may God accept him—a martyr, as we deem him.
May God have mercy on you, Abu Sulayman. You were, yes, my brother, and yes, my companion, and, yes, my emir and teacher. And Allah will keep you in peace.